Former KNBA marketing boss helping raise aerospace firm Peraton's profile in capital

Aerospace
DND photo, for illustrative purposes only.

A recognizable face in the Kanata North business community has left the tech park to join a “startup” of a very different kind.

Deborah Lovegrove, who spent more than five years as the head of marketing at the Kanata North Business Association, recently moved on to a new position as the marketing and media manager at Peraton Canada. Most of the aerospace and defence firm’s Canadian operations are in Calgary, but last fall the company opened a new business development branch in downtown Ottawa.

While Lovegrove’s name is well-known in local business circles, the company she’s joining might be a bit less familiar to casual observers of the aerospace and defence industry.

But Peraton comes with an impressive pedigree. Its parent company, Harris Corp., was a dominant player in the sector for more than a century before it merged with fellow aerospace firm L3 Technologies last year to form L3Harris Technologies.

When Harris sold its Harris Corporation Government Services business to Veritas Capital in 2017, Veritas changed its new acquisition’s name to Peraton. The company now refers to itself as a “125-plus-year-old startup.”

With more than 3,500 employees and annual revenues exceeding US$1 billion, the Virginia-based firm is quickly making its own mark in the aerospace realm. Peraton has partnered with government agencies such as NASA and Canada’s Department of National Defence to provide supply chain management, engineering solutions and maintenance and repair services on a range of projects in the space, defence, cybersecurity and communications fields. 

The company is involved in a number of high-profile projects in this country, including an effort to commercialize advanced drone systems as well as bids from Boeing and Saab to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s aging fleet of F-18 fighter jets – a contract with a total value of nearly $20 billion.

Lovegrove, whose 25-year marketing career also includes stints in government and other non-profit trade organizations, said the new job gets her back to an industry that fascinated her when she managed marketing and promotional activities for the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute in 2013 and 2014.

“It was tough to leave (the KNBA) because I’d been there almost six years,” Lovegrove says. “But I was definitely looking for some sort of change. It was time to try a new challenge.”

With the range of opportunities in Peraton’s project pipeline, Lovegrove said the chance to get back into the aerospace industry was too good to pass up.

“I’m a skydiver. Anything to do with planes and speed is something that I find particularly fascinating,” she says with a laugh. “They’re working on some really cool projects right now.”